by Vera Brosgol
Cover Artist: Vera Brosgol
Review by Gayle Surrette
First Second Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596435520
Date: 07 June 2011 List Price $15.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Anya is your typical teenage girl: desperate to fit in and not stand out at school; dreaming about going out with the popular guy at school. But she also has a few problems: an annoying little brother; a mother who wants her to be friends with the school's biggest nerd weirdo; and now a ghost who's trying to tell her what to do. Who knew falling down a well would get you a do-gooder ghost or is she a do-gooder?
Anya has taken speech lessons to get rid of her Russian accent. She's dieting to lose the weight that she believes is keeping her from getting the boy she wants – not to mention that boy already has a girlfriend. On the way home from a party, Anya takes a short-cut and falls into an abandoned well and, while there, meets a ghost. The ghost is lonely and Anya is touched by her story of her untimely death.
But in the course of the story, Anya learns that things and people are not always what they seem. And even more important, that what you think you're seeing and what is really going on can be totally different.
Brosgol's drawings are beautifully done and Anya, her friends, schoolmates, family, and the ghost just come alive on the page. The story is a masterpiece – enthralling, touching, embarrassing, and in many places too close for comfort (if you remember your own high school), and if you are currently in school – Anya could be the girl at the next desk or across from your table in the cafeteria. A magical tale -- a young girl coming to accept who she is, rather than always striving to be some ideal that doesn't exist. Of course that doesn't mean that she can't change and grow and better herself – just that at this point, just maybe, she'll be happy to be Anya.
And the ghost you ask. Well, to find out how the ghost fits into all this you need to read the book and then let us know what you thought of Anya's Ghost.